August 17, 2012

Students can enjoy Week of Welcome events

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Watermelon Fest with Chancellor Rita Cheng on Sunday, Aug. 19, will kick off numerous activities as Southern Illinois University Carbondale welcomes new and returning students to campus for the upcoming semester.

The annual Week of Welcome includes both social and informational events. Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 20.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers, and camera crews are welcome to cover events during Week of Welcome. A full schedule of events is available at Events that might be of particular interest include: Watermelon Fest with the Chancellor (2-4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 19, Morris Library lawn); Meet Me On Main Street (6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 21, Student Recreation Center); a Welcome Picnic (6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22, Campus Boat Docks); Family Carnival (3-6 p.m. Aug. 25, Evergreen Park, Pine Tree Shelter); and public astronomy observations (8:45-10:45 p.m., Aug. 26, Neckers, Astronomy Deck). In addition, welcome tents will be scattered across campus on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 20-21, and provide good opportunities to meet new students.

In addition to welcoming students, the week's activities present information fairs for students to learn about ways to get involved on campus, from sports and social clubs to leadership opportunities.

The Watermelon Fest with the Chancellor is from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, on the Morris Library lawn, and gives students the chance to meet Cheng in an informal setting. From there, students can go into the library to print out their schedules for a "here's how you find your classes" tour of campus with student leaders.

Students can also attend information sessions that answer some of the basic questions. A parking tips session is 7:30-9 a.m., Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 20-21, in the SIU Arena parking lot. A "poker run" at Morris Library from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday will help familiarize students with the library, including how to use resources they might not even know are available. The University's Office of Diversity and Equity will hold an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Davies Hall, rooms 150 and 152, to familiarize students with University policies meant to protect them from harassment and other forms of discrimination.

Students who want to get involved and be active on campus will have numerous chances to find out about what is available to them. Among the information fairs are:

  • Sports Club Fair -- 4-8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 21, Student Recreation Center.

  • Housing Student Leadership Fair -- 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 21, Grinnell Hall, lower level.

  • Meet the Greeks -- 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22, Student Center Ballroom B.

  • Welcome Picnic -- sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Resource Center, Saluki Rainbow Network and the Center for Inclusive Excellence, 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22, Campus Boat Docks.

  • SIU Carbondale Registered Student Organization (RSO) and Volunteerism Fair -- 5-7 p.m., Aug. 23, Student Center Ballrooms.

The community is part of the welcome back as well. The annual Meet Me on Main Street event from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21 in the Student Recreation Center features games, prizes and free food as local businesses, Carbondale Main Street, and campus departments take the opportunity to welcome students.

Students with children may enjoy the Family Carnival, 3-6 p.m. Aug. 25, at the Evergreen Park, Pine Tree Shelter with a picnic, activities and informational booths.

Everyone is welcome at a public astronomy observation on Aug. 26, from 8:45 to 10:45 p.m. on the astronomy deck on the roof of the Neckers building.

A full schedule and description of events is at